“I’m taking the summer off working out but I’ll be back in September.”
That’s the biggest threat to my football team and the biggest threat to each player. It’s a bigger threat than all the enemies wrapped up into one.
I have coached thousands of student-athletes and never once scolded anyone for not working out and for being out of shape. I have taught thousands of wannabe cops and never once scolded them for not working out and for letting themselves go. The dictionary defines scolding as a harsh or sharp reprimand with anger. Rebuking a person harshly with anger. The X Factor in scolding is anger combined with nagging. According to that definition, I have never scolded any athlete or student about not working out. Ever. Never have, never will. But, I have told them the truth. If the truth hurts, that means it struck a chord. It touched a sensitive nerve. It means it pissed off the conscience, an inner force who does worse than scold. It causes an inner hell.
My Niagara X-men team is a non-profit collegiate club football team, that has been offered to play two regular season games in the fall against two American college teams. The sole purpose of the Niagara X-men team is to give a second chance to get recruited. It gives the unrecruited a chance to get video evidence of performance against the highest caliber competition available for university and pro recrcruiters to evaluate. No ulterior motive. We don’t compete against any Canadian team – on the field or for players. We’re not replacements for Canadian teams, we’re supplements. Video evidence of perform against American college competition goes a long way to help the unrecruited get recruited.
American college competition is the toughest competition we can find but it’s not tougher than the “I’m taking the summer off working out but I’ll be back in September” attitude that threatens team and individual. Taking the summer off guarantees being out of shape. It guarantees never being in top shape for the fall. Taking the summer off sets you back longer than 3 months. It lowers the bar all the way to zero. You’ll be starting from scratch. Add substance abuse and you have no chance to be a high performer in the fall. Research form thirty years ago showed that getting drunk just once sets back workouts 3 weeks. Add it up over the summer. In other words, getting hammered will get you hammered on the field. I don’t preach saintliness. I don’t expect players to live like monks. As stated, I don’t scold. But I will tell the truth – don’t expect to threaten yourself and your team in the fall after taking the summer off. You can’t use football to get in shape. You have to be in shape before the football season starts. You won’t even get in half-assed shape in the fall after taking the summer off. You’ll be so far out of shape, you will have no hope of being a high-performer in the fall. Believing otherwise is delusional.
I can’t or won’t bug the hell out of anyone about taking the summer off from working out but I can’t stop your conscience from bugging the hell out of you. You can try to bullshit your conscience but your conscience always wins the battle of bullshit. You conscience is your inner polygraph machine. You can’t beat the inner lie detector test. It’s impossible. It’s state-of-the-art technology. You can’t beat it. no matter what.
My workouts have become a 1960’s music revival. As a tribute to players who intend to take the summer off, here’s a 1965 classis – See you in September. Peace.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., NCCP Level 3
owner – X Fitness Inc.
head coach – Niagara X-men football team